Thursday, 26 June 2014

Colourful Historical Gardens

At the entrance of Casa Garden, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Next to Morrison chapel is Casa Garden, a pink and white Portuguese colonial style house in pink and white with dark green shutters.

A relaxing feline by the entrance of the building
It was built in 1770 by a wealthy Portuguese merchant by the name of Manuel Pereira. Later on it was rented out to the British East India Company for the directors of the Macau branch to live there.

At the brick-paved entrance is a symmetrical star and then a pond in front of the house. Around it are lots of plants including bright red hibiscus flowers.

The building, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the headquarters from the Macau delegation of the Orient Foundation where they hold periodic art and history exhibitions.

The entrance to Luis de Camoes Garden next door
As I approached the house, I saw a ginger-striped cat sleeping with its legs outstretched and yet its head was upright. I started taking pictures of it from a distance, worried that if I made too much noise, it would be startled and run away.

But even as I quietly walked up the stairs, it did not flinch and I managed to take a good shot of it. And sitting by the door was a black dog that also didn't seem to care about my appearance. I guess they get along...

To the left of Casa Garden is the Luis de Camoes Garden, named after the Portuguese poet from four centuries ago.

The first Korean priest St Andrew Kim
It's deceptive how big this place is and in it are many winding pathways that go up and down and with stairs so you do get a good workout -- especially in the hot and humid weather like I did!

There's even a library here with many signs pointing to it. But kids seem to enjoy running around the verdant area, while elderly men avidly watched a Chinese chess match in progress.

I spied a statue and went up to take a look. It's St Andrew Kim -- the first Korean priest. He was born in 1821 and when he was 16 years old he came to Macau to study theology. Kim then returned to Korea in 1845 but a year later was arrested and martyred at the age of 25!

Pope John Paul II canonized him in 1984 and a year later this statue was erected, and then repaired and rededicated to Korean Catholics in Hong Kong and Macau in 1997.

Gorgeous lotus leaves and flowers at the park entrance
I also climbed up to what seemed like the highest point of the park, but the overview wasn't particularly inspiring.

Checking out a Chinese chess game in progress
Along the path I also encountered another two kittens, one sunning himself, the other cautious of me and scurried away but then sat there watching me with his big eyes.

Nevertheless after wandering around here hot and sweaty I decided to take a break though I'd only covered about half of the park. There's still a grotto area where Luis de Camoes lived here in a cave when he was exiled to Macau.

Here he finished his epic poem Os Lusiadas, a fantastical interpretation of the Portuguese voyages of discovery during the 15th and 16th centuries written in the style of Homer.

A pair of cats hanging out in the park
It's too bad I missed the grotto and the bust of Luis de Camoes, but perhaps for another day.




2 comments:

  1. Your photos and descriptions of Casa Garden, Cameos Garden Morrison Chapel make them sound so interesting that I'm going to try to check them out the next time I visit Macau! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to hear you're interested in checking them out! They're all in one place and just take bus No. 17 and you're set!

      Delete